FTC Approves FY 2009 HSR Premerger Notification Report; FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Novartis AGs Acquisition of Alcon, Inc. Was Anticompetitive in U.S. Eye Care Market

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FTC Approves FY 2009 HSR Premerger Notification Report

The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, has approved and released the Thirty-Second Annual Report Regarding the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Program. The report summarizes Commission and Department of Justice actions conducted under the HSR Act in fiscal year 2009. During FY 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009), 716 premerger transactions were reported under the HSR Act; this is a decrease of 59 percent from the 1,726 transactions reported in FY 2008. The report describes the HSR Act and provides an overview of how the federal antitrust agencies have implemented the Act since its enactment in the late 1970s.

In addition to summarizing enforcement activities in FY 2009, the report reviews the agencies’ activities to insure that companies are complying with the Premerger Notification Rules and Procedures. Finally, the report concludes with an assessment that, as Congress intended, the HSR Act continues to give the government the opportunity to investigate and challenge mergers that are likely to harm consumers before the injury occurs. Appendices provide a summary of transactions for fiscal years 2000-2009, and the number of transactions reported as filings by month during this time. A statistical table presents data profiling HSR filings and enforcement interest during FY 2009.

The Commission vote to issue the report was 5-0. It is available on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2010/10/101001hsrreport.pdf. (FTC File No. P110014; the staff contact is Stefano Sciolli, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2740.)

FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Novartis AG’s Acquisition of Alcon, Inc. Was Anticompetitive in U.S. Eye Care Market

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Novartis AG’s acquisition of Alcon, Inc., as proposed, would have been anticompetitive in the U.S. market for certain eye care treatments. Novartis and Alcon are the only two U.S. providers of the class of drugs known as injectable miotics, and the FTC alleged that the acquisition would have created a monopoly in the market for these drugs. To preserve competition, the settlement requires Novartis to sell its drug Miochol-E to Bausch & Lomb, Inc.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0-1, with Commissioner William E. Kovacic recused. (FTC File No. 101-0068; Docket No. C-4296; the staff contact is Kari A. Wallace, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3085. See press release dated August 16, 2010 at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/08/novartis.shtm.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 39.2010.wpd)

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